Taking a closer look at Wigan Athletic's last seven games
Things are looking up for Wigan off the pitch following on from the club’s takeover – can they start to look up towards League One safety now on the field too?
Since being plunged into administration and condemned to relegation from the Championship last season, it’s been an uphill battle for Latics.
They’ve spent the majority of the current campaign in the bottom four places but with seven games to go – and with only two points separating them from safety – could they scramble their way out of the dreaded relegation places?
We take a look at their remaining seven games...
When these two last came face-to-face, it was Wigan who came out victorious sealing a 1-0 win over Doncaster thanks to a goal from the since-departed Joe Garner.
They’ll be hoping for a similar showing this time around, especially with Rovers flying high in the table.
Doncaster can consider themselves relatively still in the hunt for a play-off spot, so a big three points here for Wigan could be a huge boost to their confidence and to their survival efforts.
Form certainly isn’t on Doncaster’s side. Since Darren Moore jumped ship to Sheffield Wednesday, the club have been on a downward slide.
They are bottom of the form table, below Wigan, with only one point from a possible 15 in their last five games.
In fact, they have only two wins from their last ten
It’s shocking form for Andy Butler’s side but it makes for good reading for Wigan, as now seems to be prime time to face a club that are currently struggling to accumulate any points whatsoever. Doncaster have been considerably stronger on home turf. They have the third best home record in the league and have lost only four fixtures there all season.
Latics fans will no doubt remember fondly the last fixture between these two sides, as Wigan came out on top thanks to a lone strike from 19-year old Kyle
It was Lee Johnson’s first game as Sunderland boss though and his side have undoubtedly gone from strength-to-strength ever since.
It certainly won’t be easy to nab another victory here.
Sunderland are in an incredible vein of form.
They’ve not lost any of their last ten league games and have lost only one of their last 15.
They are THE form team in the third tier and are starting to look more like the Sunderland of old and not the Sunderland of Netflix documentary fame.
Johnson has them firing and Wigan will have to be at the top of their game to compete this time
The game will be played at the DW Stadium, which might be a curse more than a blessing.
Leam Richardson’s side have one of the worst home records in the third tier, while Sunderland have the best away record out of anyone,
losing just the once all campaign.
It didn’t make for pretty viewing the last time these two sides collided, with Crewe coming out on top in a 3-0 rout of Wigan back in October.
Two goals in the first half had Wigan on the ropes and the win was practically secured with an hour of the game gone as Mikael Mandron then made it three for the home side on the 60 minute mark.
Latics therefore will be eager to inflict some level of payback then in this reverse fixture.
Crewe had an early season surge towards the top of the table but it has since levelled out and seen them drop to 14th position in the league.
They are currently the very definition of midtable side, with almost the same amount of wins as they have losses.
The last time these two teams faced off was on Boxing Day last year, as they played out a 1-1 draw.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, Will Keane opened the scoring by tucking away a penalty early in the second half to give his side a glimmer of hope.
However, Shaun Whalley then levelled the scores in the 66th minute and the game ended in a stalemate.
The Shrews may have been happy with a point away from home then but Latics will certainly be wanting all three from this tie.
Like Wigan, Shrewsbury have found themselves lingering at the wrong end of the League One table so far this year.
Although their form has relatively picked up in recent games, they’re still not mathematically safe and with a few losses they could find themselves dropping even further down the league.
With form otherwise iffy and with both sides in the bottom half of the third tier table, three points here could be invaluable to either
Wigan will be on the road for this once, which again could prove to be a positive for them if the form table is anything to go by.
If this game is anything like the previous, then we’ll be in for a treat.
It was a seven-goal thriller last time out, with Latics taking the spoils in a 4-3 win.
Kyle Joseph bagged himself a hat-trick and, after his third goal on 73 minutes to tie the scoreline, Will Keane bagged the winner seven minutes from time.
It ultimately added to Burton’s crisis as they sat at the bottom of the League One table which, in turn, led to them appointing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who has completely transformed their fortunes – so I guess they should be thanking Wigan in that respect!
Burton looked a team destined for the drop as the New Year’s celebrations kicked in but Hasselbaink has done a remarkable job since taking the reigns at the Pirelli Stadium and has dragged them from rock bottom of the table and up to 18th.
As it stands, they’ve lost only four of their last 15 games and are now eight points clear of relegation.
It would have certainly been an easier task to play them last time out compared to now.
It wasn’t that long ago that these two sides clashed and it’s a game that most Wigan fans have probably had wiped from their memory.
It was a rather humbling 5-0 defeat at the DW back in February, with Malik Wilks bagging a hat-trick and Keane Lewis-Potter and Josh Magennis also finding the back of the net.
Latics will certainly want to right that wrong and with this being the second to last game of the season, it could be vital to try and steal a
Hull, like fellow high-flyers Sunderland, have lost only one of their last 15 league games.
They’re also sat snugly at the summit of the third tier table and are a much harder team to beat than the one that was relegated from the Championship.
Hopefully, if Hull have sealed promotion by then, it could be a much easier prospect to face them at this point in May.
Brett Pitman scored the only goal of the game back in early February as Swindon secured an important win – this despite going down to 10-men after Dion Conroy was sent off midway through the second half.
Despite having a numerical advantage, Wigan could not make it count and couldn’t find an equaliser.
In fact, they couldn’t even muster a shot on target.
They’ll need to challenge Swindon’s goal more during this game, as this could truly be a relegation six-pointer on the last day of the campaign.
Swindon, like Latics, could find themselves in serious trouble by this point in the season.
They’re only out of the relegation places on goal difference at the moment and have lost the most games of any side in League One.
It’s this level of inconsistency – there aren’t many draws, only wins or losses – that has arguably cost the Robins this year.
If Wigan can take the lead early, with Swindon struggling to snatch draws, it could go a long way to getting the three points.